There is so much to love about social media. I personally love that anyone can be anyone, and anyone and do anything they love – and if they are good at it – they can turn their passions into an income generating lifestyle.
But with Instagram, like blogging and vlogging, the key to turning passion into profession goes beyond just having good content. There must be a strategy for growth. If you build your presence the right way, it can determine whether you can charge $5 per post or $50,000 (or higher). There are many large pages with poor engagement offering $20 shoutouts, while there are more successful pages with smaller followings doing shoutouts for thousands.
As Instagram unrolls a new algorithm that highlights some posts over others, it’s important to understand how to get eyes on your content – and hands typing comments.
While I have 50,000 subscribers on YouTube and only 10,000 on Instagram, I’ve professionally worked with tons of Influencers that have millions of followers and have put together a list of tips based on their suggestions for growing an audience and building a brand. From these suggestions I’ve been able to grow my following by 5,000 in just the last few months, grow my likes from around 30 per post to over 500, and comments from barely any to typically over 20 (still working on that).
Here is what I’ve learned:
1. Work the Algorithm – Share rich content and make an effort to increase your engagement
With the new algorithm, likes and comments will get you ranked higher and ensure that your content is seen. The better your content does (in terms of likes and comments), the more Instagram will trust showing you to more of your audience. You want a good comment to like ratio, having 30,000 comments and 3 likes is not a good ratio – engage your audience. If you want to boost your comments, ask questions, host giveaways, even occasionally offer follow backs for comments. Make use of instagram stories, using the story to remind your fans to comment – and also host livestreams. Instagram is pushing it’s live component, it will tell a lot of your followers to attend your livestream when you go live, this will remind fans to click on your profile even if they don’t see your stream and likely will view/like/comment your latest post.
2. Quality over quantity.
Many people post 2-4 times per day to get likes and put themselves in front of others. Lal says that you should start paying more attention to what you are posting. How relevant is it to people?
While Facebook and Twitter are platforms where you can constantly update your feed , with Instagram, you should choose wisely – and post less often (possibly once per day). It’s better to post one killer photo post once a day, than post 3-5 random selfies (which can annoy followers).
3. What is your Instagram Story telling people?
Everyone and every brand has a story to tell. People like to follow stories and be a part of a journey. This helps build community. Create a series. A Series can be location based, a color scheme, a weight loss journey, a type of food (for food pages)
4. Don’t be afraid to use Tags!
Many of us feel like tags look desperate, and you shouldn’t feel this way. It’s not easy to have new content discovered organically without any form of tagging (location, image tags and hashtags). The only time i’ve seen growth without tags was from shoutouts (by bigger pages), inviting followers to follow on other platforms (“hey facebook friends follow me on IG/YouTube” etc etc), and re-posting a popular photo (if I post a photo that is trending – IG’s facial and photo image search recognition tool recognizes that this photo is popular and will suggest it to people who have liked that photo before from other pages! So do this when you can. IG likes when we share other peoples content). So unless you are doing what I just mentioned, you should be tagging your photos. Use the location tags, people click on locations often to see what’s happening in a area. Tag big brands that you feature in your photos, and tag big accounts that you’d like to share your photos (they might see it and feature you), and use Hashtags! If you feel weird about using hashtags, don’t post it as a caption, instead make it top comment – and then encourage your friends to comment after (so it gets hidden lol). Here’s a hack to do this quickly without losing that top position in the feed: When you post your image, include your hashtags – then go on your desktop, copy the hashtags, and paste them as the first comment within a second of deleting them from the photo description – this way you stay at the top if you are using very popular hashtags.
If you want a full in depth course on building a professional Instagram account, I found this AMAZING program by Gabby Epstein (an Influencer with over 1.8 million followers). She teaches everything she’s learned over the years in growing a top IG account (and dishes on all the secrets most people never share). She has tons of growth hacks and advice, and on day one of using her methods, I just bought the course today and I’ve already seen an increase in engagement – and my media kit is way more efficient now! Yep – she gives away a media kit too and explains how to pitch yourself to brands for free stuff and free travel. Pretty sweet
With her course you get over 50 videos, some extra goodies (like media kit and fast track guide sheets) and you’ll basically learn how to:
1. GROW YOUR FOLLOWING FAST
2.GET BETTER ENGAGEMENT
3. RECEIVE PRODUCT FREEBIES
4. GET PAID $$$ FOR YOUR POSTS 5. NEGOTIATE FREE ACCOMMODATION
Click here to learn more about Gabby’s course – It’s on Sale for $99 from $300 🙂